The challenge of nature loss

Nature is deteriorating at rates unprecedented in human history due to human activity1. Around one million species face extinction, with current extinction rates causing scientists to declare a ‘sixth mass extinction’ underway2.  Many essential services nature provides are now at risk, with significant negative impacts on ecosystems and human wellbeing3. One of the services at risk is the regulation of freshwater quantity and quality, which is decreasing access to clean water around the world4.  The impacts of nature loss are wide-reaching and threaten the foundations of our global economies, livelihoods, and food systems5 6.

The most significant driver of nature loss is the change in the use of land and seas, including the conversion of natural areas to agriculture and urban areas. Nature loss is also driven by unsustainable levels of extraction of natural resources, pollution, climate change, and the introduction of invasive species7.

Countries around the world are recognising the urgency of addressing nature loss. The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), also known as the Biodiversity Plan, was adopted in December 2022 at COP15. It calls for countries to take urgent action to halt and reverse biodiversity loss and put nature on a path to recovery by 2030.

Our ambition

A commitment to acting for nature

As a leading food processing technology and packaging solutions company, Tetra Pak’s value chain is highly dependent on nature and the services it provides, and is therefore at risk due to nature loss. We have a responsibility to take action for nature and to support the objectives of both the Biodiversity Plan and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Nature is one of the focus areas of Tetra Pak’s Sustainability Agenda, and our ambitions are to:

  • Contribute to reversing and halting nature loss by reducing the negative impacts of our value chain on nature and by supporting landscape restoration.
  • Contribute to global water resilience by reducing the negative impacts on local water resources and working to solve shared water challenges in at-risk basins8 across our value chain.
  • Work with suppliers and customers to reduce the negative impacts of food value chains on nature, contributing to more secure, resilient and sustainable food systems.

Recognising the interconnections between nature and people, our actions in these areas are carried out with respect for human rights.

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OUR APPROACH

A value-chain framework for protecting and restoring nature

To realise these ambitions, we have developed an approach rooted in measurable, quantitative targets and practical actions. This is a framework focused on nature, with a particular emphasis on addressing the drivers of nature loss that are relevant for Tetra Pak’s value chain, but it is also closely linked with our efforts on climate, circularity, social sustainability and food systems.

 

We have carried out assessments to understand how our value chain depends on and impacts nature and to identify nature-related risks and opportunities in our value chain. Using this information, we have structured our approach across four pillars that reflect the different stages of our value chain.

 

The frameworks and tools for companies to assess and address their impacts, dependencies, risks, and opportunities related to nature are constantly evolving. We follow this progress closely, updating our assessment and approach accordingly. However, given the urgency to halt and restore nature loss, we believe it is important that companies such as ours implement targets and actions urgently, based on the best information currently available, while ensuring respect for human rights.

The four pillars of our approach to nature

The upstream pillar of our approach includes everything related to the goods and services that Tetra Pak purchases.

Our assessments found that sourcing raw materials – particularly paperboard, other packaging materials, polymers, and aluminium foil – has the most significant negative impacts on nature. These impacts are driven by land and water use, pollution, as well as climate change, which also are closely connected to human rights impacts.

This pillar includes a number of targets aimed at better understanding and reducing drivers of nature loss in the upstream segment of our value chain, focusing on those materials associated with the most significant impacts. Targets in this area are implemented through procurement requirements and proactive engagement with our suppliers.

The second pillar of our approach covers all activities and sites under Tetra Pak’s operational control.

On the one hand, this is an area where assessments found that the impacts on nature are lower than that of the upstream of our value chain. On the other hand, this is also part of the value chain which we can influence directly.

In this pillar, the focus is on managing the impacts of our 52 production sites on nature.

The downstream pillar deals with activities related to the sale, use, and end-of-life of Tetra Pak's products and services.

Our work in this pillar includes research and development to improve the design and performance of our products and, through this, reduce the negative impacts on nature also from the upstream of our value chain and our own operations. Additionally, this pillar includes engagement with our customers to manage the impacts of their operations. Finally, we work to improve collection and recycling to reduce the negative nature impacts of used beverage cartons and to increase the circularity of materials while also supporting the important role of informal waste collection workers.

The final pillar of our approach goes beyond our immediate value chain and includes actions that contribute to the transformative change required to tackle the fundamentals drivers of nature loss. This transformation is required for the world to meet the goals of the global Biodiversity Plan.

Our work in this area includes advocating for strong policies to halt and reverse nature loss. We are also involved in efforts to improve voluntary standards and initiatives, and we invest in the restoration of landscapes adjacent to our production areas.

TAKING ACTION

Tetra Pak approach to nature

To realise our ambitions, each of the four pillars in the Tetra Pak Approach to Nature is defined by concrete areas for action. These action areas, in turn, are supported by quantitative targets that enable us to measure our progress.

Sugar canes and caps

Responsible sourcing

We believe that long-term relationships with key suppliers, founded on trust and mutual benefits, are vital to our ongoing success.

Araucaria trees, land restoration project

Araucaria Conservation: Land Restoration for Biodiversity

Learn how the Araucaria Conservation Programme is leading nature-based land restoration in Brazil. Learn how we are restoring biodiversity and combating climate

Landscape over forest

Nature and biodiversity case stories

From responsible sourcing to contributing to global water resilience and land restoration, we strive to halt and reverse nature loss. See our stories.

Our focus areas

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1Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, 2019

2Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, 2019

3Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, 2019

4Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, 2019

5Herweijer, C., et al. "Nature risk rising: Why the crisis engulfing nature matters for business and the economy." World Economic Forum and PwC. https://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_New_Nature_ Economy_Report_2020.pdf

6FAO. 2019. The State of the World’s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture, J. Bélanger & D. Pilling (eds.). FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture Assessments. Rome. 572 pp.

7Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, 2019

8At-risk basins are identified using the SBTN methodology, based on eight different indicators across water quantity, quality and wash. For each indicator, a score between 1 and 5 is attributed. Within these three categories, one indicator with a score of 3 or above indicates that the basin is at risk.